February 9th, 2009
09:09 PM ET
5 years ago

Obama: This 'wasn't how I envisioned my presidency' beginning

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama told reporters that pushing for a $800 billion stimulus plan to pump up the ailing economy was not the way he envisioned he would begin his term in the White House.

"Look, I would love not to have to spend money right now. I'd love - you know, this notion that somehow I came in here just ginned up to spend $800 billion... that wasn't how I envisioned my presidency beginning. But we have to adapt to existing circumstances," President Obama told reporters at his prime time news conference at the White House.


Filed under: Obama press conference
soundoff (78 Responses)
  1. Sandi

    same ol' same ol'- trickle down economics.
    bail out ALL citizens of the mess that corporate America and poor oversight put us in. Relief all citizens of credit card debt.

    Fire the SEC regulators, and put Mr. Harry Maropolos in the Cabinet.

    THEN America can live again.

    February 9, 2009 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  2. 1776

    No, but to hear the way the caterwauling republicans are spinning it you somehow created this mess all in 3 weeks. Like Bush/Cheney didn't blow our budget all to flinders every year.

    February 9, 2009 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  3. obama chick

    Mr. President its a start I think you are doing a great job! This all George Bush and the GOP's problems you are cleaning up! They don't want to vote for change but of course they will vote for any tax cuts for their wealthy friends that created much of the mess. Come on america lets stop acting like second graders and get this much needed money in to the hands of the american public!!!!!!!
    Bring it on Repubs.......I am sure you can't wait to indicate how much of a socalist society we are going to become.
    BLAH BLAH BLAH!!!!!!

    February 9, 2009 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  4. Ed's Kate

    What a mess President Obama inherited. The country is just going to have to have patience for all this to be worked out. Don't forget, Rome was not built in day.
    It would be nice though if the republicans who caused this mess would actually own up to it and stop being so "holier than thou". The nastiness that has shown up by them is really a sign of "guilty conscience" and "poor losers".
    Get with it guys and gals, your job is to help the country get back on its feet not to be obstructionists. For the past 8 years you and your party were in control and look at the damage that was done to this country. Grow up!!!

    February 9, 2009 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  5. sally az

    what if this economic crisis hadnt happen the same year as the presidential election? i dont think i wouldnt be here typing this or as aware of this mess, Pres Obamas campaign is what captivated me, he intruiges and fascinates me he motivates and inspires me, now with that said and the chronological order of events leading to his presidency its as if a person like him is exactly what are country needed at this time, this mess was left for him to clean up and he realizes it is there, to do nothing after this involving campaign would be meek, had this not been an election year i doubt i would be even aware with Bush as president, im new to politics and economy, the numbers in billions trillions are very scary to me, so all that said is im trusting him and his decisions to keep us safe from those against us and to watch over and make decisions about our economey, as our children trust us up untils they become adults. and everyone knows that job of resposibility of someone elses lives is not one taken lightly, look at the casey/caley case a mother one child that she probaly brought harm to, the woman that had 8 babies when she already had 6, all sad but true those children trust the parent for nurturing in a manner best for them, Obama has got alot on his plate, he knows it, he is aware for us watching is like a reatity show, whats next, he got us thru the campaign, the election and he hasnt swayed but remains calm and collective he knows his job and like a parent there is no manual, its learn as you go, some have sick and disabled kids, some have talented well to do, some have so much love money doesnt matter, if we learn anything from him is what he was critized for during his campaign, COMMUNITY SPIRIT, we are a family AMERICAN, we are a Team we all have the same goal, he is the quarterback, so we need to come together in a way that truly shows the world what its like to be Blessed to be Americans......
    God Bless us All and the USA!!!

    February 9, 2009 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  6. Tim

    The. Truth hurts but it is ok to hear it from the president. A refreshing change in contrast to the last one.

    February 9, 2009 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  7. maya sanders

    Yeah, referring back to what President Obama said about certain people in congress who opposed the stimulus bill because there was too much spending. Well look, do you really think that we can get away with not spending a dime on education or constructing bridges to get the economy back on track. Look the reality is, things cost money and by decreasing the funds for Americans struggling, that won't help them.

    February 9, 2009 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  8. Sandi

    same ol' same ol' – trickle down economics called Stimulus.

    Instead, bail out ALL *citizens* from the mess that corporate America, and poor oversight, put the country in. Relieve all *citizens* of credit card debt, since the banks, Wall Street,and Chrysler have been bailed out .

    Fire the SEC regulators, and
    put Mr. Harry Markopolos in the Cabinet.

    THEN America can live again.

    February 9, 2009 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  9. Sandra in SC

    I support the stimulus package. I will do what ever the President wants me to do to help. The GOP's voting in a solid block in the House just shows that they are more interested in their party than their jobs of serving the people of America. I will remember this as an obstructionist move by the GOP as one effort to keep President Obama from succeeding. Shame on them.

    February 9, 2009 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  10. JT from TN

    I agree with Obama, this bill is an overhang of the bush administration unfortunately Obama had to finish it but I'm giving himm some leeway because this particular bill is like an aftermath package. I believe by end of summer we'll start seeing affects from Obama.

    February 9, 2009 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  11. go away mongers -Ventura CA

    The Country is ready for change- unfortunately the republican party wants to continue on in the way where lots of insults are hurled, but the American people are left wondering when their government will work for them. They talk of wanting bipartisanship, and when they have a chance at it..they balk. I am so disappointed in them, but this is not new-
    I changed parties LONG ago, and each year has provided proof that my decision was the correct one.

    February 9, 2009 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  12. Mark, B'ham., Al.

    Sorry President Obama but were you not a Senator whose job is to make and vote on laws, especially appropriations. The President does not make the laws, he can sign or veto them or give his input but he does not make the laws. And I thought you were suppose to be a Constitutional Lawyer?

    February 9, 2009 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  13. Hope

    Mr President you are doing a splendid job so far, this is change we are getting. I just need to know what the republicans did with 5 Trillion.

    February 9, 2009 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  14. Henry

    President Bush did not envision 9-11 either. It just happened during his term. Well President Obama how does it feel now when all your dreams as a popular president to all are tanking just like the economy? What will you be remembered for? The MOTHER OF ALL DEFICITS.

    February 9, 2009 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  15. No Incumbents 2010

    Let's think about this on an individual level. Suppose I was in debt already up to my ears, does it make sense for me to borrow more money to pay off the debt and stimulate my pocketbook? Or, suppose I am fiscally irresponsible for years and to overcome the problem I get a huge loan to survive and to keep my lifestyle at the same level. What happens when this bill comes due?
    A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you're talking real money. I'm not saying we should not do something, but doing something just to do something is foolish. We should do something, but only after we have truly thought about what is best. Would you rather just do something or wait and do what is best?
    I sick of our government doing things just to say they did something, only to come back later and blow more of my money. Haste makes Waste.

    February 9, 2009 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  16. Gerry In Toronto

    I wonder if Obama would still want to have run for President if he knew he would inherit all the problems Bush has left him with?

    I feel sorry for the guy, although I'm convinced no one else would have the intellect, strength and capacity for turning the country around, other than Obama.

    America made the right choice.

    February 9, 2009 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  17. Mark

    Wait a minute, you jumped all over McCain for his view on the economy but you stumped all over the country saying you understood how tuff things were (which you have no clue unless your private chef is telling you about it) and now your saying this wasn't how you envisioned things....well, gegt iver it barry

    February 9, 2009 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  18. Mark

    Oh, and can obama please just tell Biden to stop talking all together. Like, who allows him to talk in public?

    February 9, 2009 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  19. SueB

    He said doing nothing was not a choice. I totally disagree. Doing nothing is the best thing the government can do about the economy. Economists who have studied the "Great Depression" have pretty much all concluded that instead of ending in about 3 yrs, Government intervention caused it to drag on for over 10 yrs. Despite Obama's and many other Dems attempts to paint our current economic condition as the 2nd Great Depression, of which it isn't even close (for a start, JFK's and Carter's were far worse), I vote with economists who know what they are doing who say doing nothing is absolutely the best answer.

    February 9, 2009 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  20. Larry

    He is not talking about how much more he is going to ask for tomorrow ( another trillion dollars)when they address the housing and banking problems, which isn't even in the 800 billion stimulus bill he was trying to sell tonight.It will end up around two trillion this week.

    They still haven't allocated 350 billion from 700 billion Bush did last month. I think we are moving way to fast ,we don't even have any of this money,we are "borrowing all of it !!"

    February 9, 2009 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  21. DrFrann in CA

    A Herculean task by any account, the recovering of this economy and our infrastructure. Adaptation is survival. And survival is what we are fighting for. It seems that the longer President Obama is in office, the more of a mess he is uncovering. I wonder if he had any idea of the depth of the abyss that lay before him.

    It is time for not just a retooling, but a reinvention of the paradigm of how this country does business, not just with other nations but with itself. We are not good to ourselves, to our own country.

    How does a system this large monitor itself? We need IADs on many levels. How about a committee to oversee the enormous amounts of waste going on.

    From an article I read on 02/07/09 CNN/Money, it appears that there is a man named Markopolos who told the SEC, with supporting data, at the the beginning of this decade, that Madoff was a fraud but they dismissed him. I applaud this man for his whistle blowing. Whistle blowing needs to be thought of as a good thing, not as a bad thing. We need to retool our mindset. Of bad. Of good. And of what is needed regardless of party affiliation.

    Party affiliation is bogus. Old ideas. Old values. No one group has all the answers. The ideas of party – small p is small thinking. We need to think of Party with a big P for everyone.

    The party is dead. Long live The Party – the home of good ideas, no matter where they come from.

    Stay on point and work out. We need your clarity, persistence and determination to weather the storms.

    February 10, 2009 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  22. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    "I would love not to have to spend money right now". You don't, Your Majesty. You could always exercise restraint instead of your trademark boundless ambition fueled by hope but contradicted by sound policy considerations. But nooooo, not "swift and bold" enough for you. In my view, simply not too swift.

    February 10, 2009 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  23. Common Sense

    Wow, it will be hard to get used to a President who realizes that we must adapt to the reality of the current situation rather than beat a dead horse with phrases like "defeat the terrrorists" and "I am a War President".

    I support my President. You are doing okay by me so far. I am willing to stand behind you and make sure my representatives in Congress stand behind you too.

    February 10, 2009 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  24. evelyn

    Keep it up President Obama I support your stimulus plan.

    February 10, 2009 01:20 am at 1:20 am |
  25. Jackie

    of course it isn't, he was expecting temples, and shrines to be built in his name, he was expecting his cult to spread like divine fire across the world. he expected the 60 million Americans who didn't vote for him to be regulated to oblivion where no one would question his grace.

    February 10, 2009 01:34 am at 1:34 am |
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